And somehow I know I was meant to sit here this day, at the end of a painful year, holding onto this little rug that nearly couldn’t be fixed, and figure it out.

Charity Singleton, from her blog, “Wide Open Spaces.” The post: “Fix The Thing.”

A lot of you know Charity. Last year was rough for her, including another bout with cancer. But to meet her–as I did in September–you just forget about all that.

I haven’t walked Charity’s path, but I did grow up with a great deal of cancer in my family, including both my parents. There was a lot in my life that couldn’t be fixed. And as a child, I couldn’t figure it out.

“What is your New Year’s resolution?” people have asked this week.

I roll my eyes and sigh. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Any plans I make are easily changed on my digital devices. Why? Because I must always be ready for tragedy.

It always comes. It always has. It always will. I thought I was crazy until I read Hope Edelman’s “Motherless Daughters” and “Motherless Mothers.” No, I’m not crazy; I’m a category.

And then, of course, I’m always expecting that I’m going to get sick, as in cancer-sick. I’m stunned that I’m about to turn 41. I never thought I’d live this long. Every doctor I’ve ever had is nice and friendly until they take my family’s medical history. Then their eyes get wide. They look away.

So I try to live ready. If not me, then surely someone in the family will need me. As soon as the magazine is done this month, I’m good to go. And when it doesn’t come, I have a list of things that need doing, and I do them. But that list isn’t a list of goals. It’s just a laundry list of stuff, like laundry. An oil change.

Charity makes me question everything I just wrote, perhaps because she has walked where I fear to tread. What if I tried to figure it out, instead of giving up at the outset? What if got out my needle and thread (Confession: I can’t sew.) … What if I got out my metaphorical needle and thread and simply tried to fix the thing? I have no idea what might happen.

There and Back Again